Courtesy of The Progress Center for Independent Living

The Progress Center for Independent Living (PCIL) announced Jan. 9 that the nonprofit will begin a fundraising effort for what they are calling the Larry Biondi Fellowship for Radical Thought and Action. The goal is to raise $20,000. Biondi worked for the Progress Center for 28 years and died in 2021.

Three recipients in the “class of 2023-24” are to share whatever money is raised and will be chosen on the basis of how well their proposed projects fit the objectives of the fellowship.

“The projects,” said Gary Arnold, program director, “are intended to benefit the [disability] community by supporting innovative projects led by diversely talented individuals.  The intent is for the interns to be disabled, but we also wouldn’t close the door on a non-disabled person who had good ideas for projects and is experienced.”

“Funds raised,” Arnold added, “would deepen the impact and expand the capacity of the partnership between (the Progress Center) and Chicago ADAPT.”

ADAPT, according to its Facebook page, is “a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.”

The fellowship honors the legacy of Larry Biondi who worked for the Progress Center  for 28 years. He died in June 2021 and was a fearless disability-rights advocate.  “His lifetime of work” stated the nonprofit’s website, “advanced some of the movement’s most crucial efforts and victories, including passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility on public transit in Chicago, community integration through closure of state institutions, and equitable healthcare for the disabled and non-disabled.

An anonymous donor created a $5,000 match.  To make a donation use the  link

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